Erik ten Hag must get rid of 15 Manchester United players in summer transfer window – Samuel Luckhurst


There was an unacceptable predictability about Manchester United’s 4-0 defeat to Liverpool on Tuesday night.

United have endured a nightmare campaign and it got worse at Anfield. Ralf Rangnick’s side conceded within five minutes and the result was inevitable after that Luis Diaz goal. United managed just one shot throughout the whole 90 minutes.

Rangnick suggested up to 10 players could be signed in the summer and there is recognition that a major summer rebuild is required at the club. Erik ten Hag, currently manager of Ajax, is set to be appointed and he’ll be facing the biggest challenge of his career, but which players should the Dutchman sell in his first summer in charge? Our MEN writers have had their say.

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Samuel Luckhurst

Whoever the number one is next season, the other has to go, on loan or permanently. The longer United prolong the David de Gea-Dean Henderson dynamic, the longer they are shackled by the soft management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United need to cut their losses of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Alex Telles so they can recruit an all-action full-back. Eric Bailly and Phil Jones have outstayed their welcomes. The ship has sailed for Axel Tuanzebe as well. Get rid of three centre-backs and you have leverage to sign an upgrade, with Teden Mengi the ‘potential’ pick.

Paul Pogba might not pull on a United shirt again. And if he does, his final appearance of him is imminent as he is going. Ten Hag might have plans for Donny van de Beek but, as a point of principle, it would be tempting to discard him for attempting to join Everton as far back as August. United need to call time on careers after two years if a player has not remotely performed. It is high time they got Andreas Pereira off the books.

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Paul Pogba was substituted after 10 minutes against Liverpool.

Anthony Martial has had two good seasons out of seven and his attitude when he started this season was appalling. If Marcus Rashford is still considering his future from him, then he should have a seat reserved in the departures’ lounge, but Martial is the most pressing issue.

Sell: Henderson or De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Telles, Jones, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Pereira, Martial

Release: Grant, Matic, Pogba, Lingard, Mata, Cavani

Rich Fay

After a season of turmoil it is easy to get carried away with negativity and demand wholesale change, but United’s rebuilding job might not actually be as extensive as some are suggesting.

The success of United under Ten Hag will instead rely on an overhaul of squad mentality and implement a clear style of play which will influence their subsequent transfer business. Even that is a massive job, one which makes selling fringe players somewhat of a risk given it will be hard to replace them all.

Everyone out of contract this summer needs to leave and there is probably enough room to sell another six or seven on top of that, depending on who you classify as a noteworthy first-team sale.



Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata have barely had a look in this season.

The goalkeeping department is still completely unsustainable and the squad is overstocked with mediocre defenders. Fringe players like Telles, Pereira and Martial have little to offer and should be allowed to leave if buyers can be found.

Van de Beek is one of those who could be like a stereotypical new signing under Ten Hag while Rashford surely has to get better after a dire campaign too. Promoting the likes of Hannibal Mejbri, Alejandro Garnacho and Alvaro Fernandez could be a wise way to save money and replace some of those leaving this summer.

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Sell: Henderson or De Gea, Telles, Tuanzebe, Jones, Bailly, Pereira, Martial.

Release: Grant, Matic, Pogba, Lingard, Mata, Cavani

Dominic Booth

Before the Liverpool match, Rangnick conceded that every area of ​​the United squad — even the goalkeeper situation — needed to be considered this summer. He said five or more incomings were needed, though that doubled to a possible 10 signings after the 4-0 shellacking at Anfield.

What seems certain is that United will not be tempted to renew the expiring deals of Lee Grant, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata or Edinson Cavani. So that’s six outgoings, with four of them needing to be replaced (Grant was a non-playing squad member, and Hannibal Mejbri makes sense as a Mata or Lingard replacement).

Both Martial and Van de Beek were discarded on loan in January and neither have pulled up trees for Sevilla or Everton respectively, and must be sold permanently. Bailly, Henderson and Jones need to leave for the good of their own careers, while Pereira should eventually be offloaded to Flamengo permanently.



Andreas Pereira celebrates scoring for Flamengo
Andreas Pereira celebrates scoring for Flamengo

The more reactionary element of the United fanbase would throw the likes of Wan-Bissaka, Telles, Rashford, Harry Maguire, Diogo Dalot and even Cristiano Ronaldo in the ‘sell’ pile — and there are coherent arguments for them all to go — but that would mean 18 departures in one window. It isn’t going to happen. But 12 might be a good start.

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Sell: Henderson, Jones, Bailly, Pereira, Martial, Van de Beek

Release: Grant, Matic, Pogba, Lingard, Mata, Cavani

Steven Railston

It’s not the matter of which United players should look to sell, it’s more the case of who they should actually keep. This season has been disastrous and the playing squad needs to be held accountable for their astonishing level of underperformance.

The obvious problem is: United can’t operate in the transfer market like FIFA 22 or Football Manager would allow and there can only be so many outgoings and incomings. De Gea is not the long-term answer at United but he’s been the standout performer this season and his No.1 spot seems safe. Henderson should finally be allowed to leave after being mishandled by Solskjaer if that’s the case.

Phil Jones and Eric Bailly are both surplus to requirements and should leave. Telles is well below the level required – he struggles to defend – and he should be let go. United can cash in on Tuanzebe to continue that defensive clear out.



Alex Telles in action for Manchester United against Leicester City
Alex Telles in action for Manchester United against Leicester City

Although an exit for Wan-Bissaka’ isn’t high on the priority list, he’s also clearly not good enough at elite level.

Martial has been regularly jeered by Sevilla supporters and that’s no coincidence. There might be a shortage of willing buyers, but his time at United needs to come to an end. Pereira is also on loan and he should finally leave United on a permanent deal.

Sell: Henderson, Jones, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Martial, Pereira, Wan-Bissaka.

Release: Grant, Matic, Pogba, Lingard, Mata, Cavani.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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